Need advice for buying ZTR for disabled dad

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SPO Tim, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. SPO Tim

    SPO Tim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hello guys and girls,
    Im brand new to this site, do not mow for a living, but am in the market for a ZTR. What better place to get feedback than from the pros? I would greatly appreciate any feedback.
    Heres the situation..... My dad is in his 60's, retired from GM this week, is a diabetic with circulation problems, has a 2 acre low flat lawn that is wet most of the spring, has an old Wheelhorse tractor, and enjoys mowing his lawn. He cannot use his left foot and cannot move very fast and therefore is looking for something with hand controls. I have 4 acres and will be using it as well. We have looked at commercial ZTRs because I want to mow fast and we are both looking at quality.
    The ZTR must have the following...... a deck thick enough to step on, engine controls on the side (not between legs), a manual right foot or hydraulic deck lift, and comfortable. We will be buying something in about a week or two.
    We have looked at ExMark Laser AS, Scag Tiger Cub, JD 727, Toro, Ferris, and Hustler Z. Deck size can be 52 or 60, need engine size and type recommendations (love Honda durability), and any other info that may be helpful (spindles, durability, maintenance, etc). So far we like the Scag 23/52 and Hustler Z 23/60 but my concern is that the 23 is too small for a 60 cut without it bogging down. Any feedback is greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. Tim
  2. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    I have a JD 737. I like it. you could step on the deck. It has a right foot deck assist. A Z will cut in wet grass but will also get stuck REAL easy. I have burried mine like 3 times. Had to use a chain and come along to get it out.LOL
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Sounds like you have the info you need. The rest is just up to which mower you like the best. I think the Hustler would be the best, if you are happy with the cut quality. As for as the Honda engines. There is no proof the Honda engines over 20hp are durable. They do make the best small engines, but have just hit the large engine market (well at least on mower's) in the last few years. I have heard of a lot of problems with them so far. Mainly on the Dixie Choppers, but not enough people have them to get a definite answer. If I had a choice between a Honda and a Kohler. I would pick the Kohler.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    you may want to look at Gravely PM 160 or 260. The 260 (I own) is a great machine. It has a left deck assist plate. Never step on the deck to get on. That will eventually warp it no matter who makes it. Has a hydraulic deck. Is built like a tank and should last forever in a residental application so long as you follow proper maintance. 13mph top speed, 27HP Kohler, grease free spindles, a pnuematic shock absorbing chair.

    The two most important things are dealer support and getting to test the mowers on your property and see what they are like. The dealers should have a demo unit that you can test for the day and mow your yard. skip a mow and try the machines in worst case scenario.
  5. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 618

    Low, flat ,wet most of spring. This doesn't go well with a Z. The stick easily and are heavy. If you get one, Lowest weight with largest tires would be most important. They are all more than durable enough for homeowner use. I would consider the homeowner model by Husqvarna or Yazoo/Kees. They are the same machine. It is considerably lighter. The traction in wet condition could be improved with ATV tires. I put them on a unit I mow a detention pond with. High floatation with exellent traction.
  6. cward

    cward LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    I have to agree with Precision. You are looking at some great mowers and I am sure any one of them would make you happy. Find a dealer that you like that wants your business and go test each mower. No demo...No purchase. I would push for the gravely mowers. While you are looking, you may want to look at a suspension seat to help with the comfort level for your father. Good luck and happy mowing.
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    welcome to the site Tim. You have picked a good group of mowers and you will find lots of people faithful or likeing certain brands. I prefer the scag tiger cub, it is built like a tank and servicing the unit is simple and easy. I have the 48'' 20hp kohler. The deck lift is on the right side also. Happy hunting
  8. Meg-Mo

    Meg-Mo Inactive
    Posts: 1,020

    Check the BAD BOY mower it can fit all your needs.
  9. Meg-Mo

    Meg-Mo Inactive
    Posts: 1,020

    Check the BAD BOY mower it will fit all the needs you ask for.
  10. SPO Tim

    SPO Tim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for all your input so far. I'm taking all your feedback into consideration. It looks like I need to go check out the Gravelys. One question though...... is a 23 too small for a 60? I wouldnt mind spending a few hundred more for an engine that has the torque to get thru the wet grass. Also......... Kawasaki or Kohler? Thanks again

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